Keuka College Speaker to Explore the Effects of Food Choices on Human and Planetary Health

Dr. Kerry Graff will deliver the Provost’s Distinguished Lecture on Nov. 15.

Friday, November 10, 2023

Dr. Kerry Graff says changing what she ate transformed her life for the better, both personally and professionally. She believes our food choices can also positively impact the future of the planet. 

The lifestyle medicine consultant will stress those themes when she delivers Keuka College’s Provost’s Distinguished Lecture on Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 5 p.m. in Norton Chapel. The College community, along with the general public is encouraged to attend this free talk.

During her lecture, titled “Using the Power of Food to Heal Ourselves and Our Planet,” Dr. Graff will highlight how adopting a predominantly plant-based diet can prevent or reverse many chronic lifestyle-related diseases while simultaneously lessening the impact our food choices have on the environment.  

After experiencing the benefits of a plant-based diet on her personal health and reviewing the published data that supported its benefit in various chronic medical conditions, Dr. Graff started encouraging her family practice patients to increase their consumption of whole plant-based foods. For those who made significant dietary improvements, the results were stunning, with most feeling better than they had in decades and many able to come off some or all of their medication. She then sought additional training and, in 2017, became one of the first 204 physicians board-certified in lifestyle medicine, a new specialty that uses evidence-based lifestyle interventions to prevent and reverse disease. 

In 2018, Dr. Graff joined Rochester Regional Health, where she continued to practice family medicine while also serving as Lead Physician for Lifestyle Medicine. In the latter role, she ran programs to educate other medical providers in the health system about the principles of lifestyle medicine and developed a lifestyle medicine consultation service. 

She now works as an independent lifestyle medicine consultant, volunteers as the chief medical officer of 4Leaf Global, and is the co-author of the “4Leaf Guide to Vibrant Health–Using the Power of Food to Heal Ourselves and Our Planet.” Her proceeds from the book are donated to efforts that increase plant-based eating for both human and planetary health.  

Dr. Graff obtained her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and completed her family medicine residency at UPMC Shadyside.  She has practiced medicine in the Finger Lakes region since 1997.